Jane Atherton, Past President | Jane has spent over 25 years in sales and media and is the former Publisher of 24hrs Vancouver newspaper. She has extensive experience in effectively leading all aspects of a business, having increased revenues while astutely managing the bottom line. It’s this business acumen and her marketing expertise that she brings to her role as a Director in addition to her passion for mental health wellness. Jane lives in Burnaby with her husband and three sons and together they enjoy an active lifestyle, in particular cycling.
Mark Baron, Director | Mark is a partner in the law firm of Richards Buell Sutton LLP in downtown Vancouver. He practises in the areas of commercial lending, real estate and insolvency. Originally from Calgary, Mark received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Calgary in 1995 and his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Alberta in 1998. He moved to Vancouver immediately thereafter and was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1999. Mark and his wife have a young son who keeps them busy between house renovation projects. He was a long-time delegate to the Vancouver Rugby Union.
Ann Johns, Director | Ann has been a CMHA member since 1977, serving as a volunteer, and Board Member for the South Fraser Branch, Simon Fraser Branch and B.C. Division. As a child, Ann emigrated from England, and has lived and worked in many areas of Alberta and B.C. Her work as a probation officer and social worker has given her experience working with people from many cultures, particularly Aboriginal, and those with various disabilities, including having experienced financial marginalization due to illness. Volunteering with CMHA has given Ann experience in both participating in and organizing fund-raising activities and community education events. Prior to retirement, Ann lead the Provincial After Hours Programs for the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
Vivian Lam, Director | Vivian is currently a PhD candidate in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on the effect of prenatal alcohol exposure on mental health outcomes in adulthood. She is also a graduate of the IMPART (Intersections of Mental Health Perspectives in Addictions Research Training) program where she studied the intersections of addictions with sex and gender, violence, trauma, and mental health. She has received numerous awards, including the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Postgraduate Scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. She is active in student governance in her department and at the university wide level. She currently holds the position of Vice-President, External in the student association for her graduate program and is a Councillor at UBC’s Graduate Student Society. She brings to the board passion and transdisciplinary knowledge about mental health, as well as well honed policy research and writing skills.
Jason Lau, Treasurer | Jason has over 10 years of experience in real estate development and construction. Born and raised in Calgary, Jason moved to Vancouver to pursue his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After obtaining his degree in 2003, he studied at BCIT, obtained his diploma in Financial Management and set forth his future career in accounting. Jason is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) and is excited to bring his finance and business strategy perspectives to benefit CMHA.
Conny Lin, Vice-President | Conny Lin has a PhD in neuroscience, is the government relations manager for Nomen in Tech, and has served as a Science Policy Fellow at the Ministry of Health. She has 9 years of experience in mental health research (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder & Alcoholism). She has served as a director and advisor on numerous national non-partisan, political, and academic organizations, as well as on several UBC boards (UBC Alumni, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Graduate Student Society, Alma Mater Society, among others). Examples of her contributions include reviving business operations, Bylaws revisions, national policy amendments, and union negotiations. She is passionate about removing the stigma of “mental health issues” and had been advocating this paradigm at the national and provincial level. She is enthusiastic about her work with CMHA where she can translate her academic and policy background into services to enhance people’s mental health and wellness.
Tarnjit McCauley, Director | Tarnjit brings her expertise in strategic planning, program development, evaluation, and project management to the role of Director. Tarnjit holds a B.Sc. from the University of Victoria and an MHA from the University of British Columbia, with further post-graduate education in program evaluation. Tarnjit is currently Regional Leader, Mental Health & Substance Use services for Vancouver Coastal Health & Providence Health Care, where she enthusiastically oversees service planning for a number of community initiatives. Her favourite aspects of working in this capacity are learning from the passionate staff that directly provide care and the opportunity to work alongside courageous clients and families to develop meaningful services. Tarnjit looks forward to assisting the Board and CMHA in continuing to accomplish their goals of supporting people along their recovery journey, enabling people to live more mentally healthy lives, and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness through ensuring access to innovative services across our communities.
Shawn McNaughton, Director | An active participant in promoting mental health initiatives over the past five years, Shawn brings a strong business acumen and extensive experience in finance, sales, and logistics. Shawn has worked in a leadership capacity with several large organizations including Coca Cola Bottling, BC Lottery Corporation, the Mark Anthony Group, Kruger Products and most recently, JJ Bean. He has ran ultra-marathons and has lead teams through the rain forests of Costa Rica. He has jumped off the island of Alcatraz and has proven it is possible to get back to shore. Some of the other non-profit organizations he has helped include the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, Imagine1Day and the Variety Club of BC. Shawn’s sleeves are permanently rolled up, his brain is constantly coming up with new ideas, and his ability to lead and motivate has created numerous personal and professional successes. He prefers coffee over tea, dogs over cats, and non-traditional over the usual. See something you like? Ask him about it. Have some feedback? He is all ears. Interested in ‘chatting’? You know where to find him. Specialties: Moving quickly through airport security, last minute fire-fighting, and crossing t’s and dotting i’s.
Christina Panagio, Director | Christina has 15 years of non-profit and government experience and is most interested in work related to finding solutions to homelessness, addictions, and mental health issues. She is a communications specialist that focuses on public relations and stakeholder engagement. She is currently employed at Portage BC, a leader in the substance abuse rehabilitation field. As the Director of Corporate Development, she manages the corporate relations for Portage including relations with the B.C. board, government, health authorities, corporate and foundation donors and prospects, media and other addictions and youth service providers. She holds a Masters of Arts degree in International Relations and a certificate in Public Relations from BCIT. She is currently enrolled in a master’s degree in Community Development.
Bruce Robinson, Director | Bruce Robinson has worked in the Canadian sport and the not-for-profit industry for nearly 30 years, serving in a variety of management positions and currently works as the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, the home of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team. He has worked previously in television and video production and health administration. Bruce is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Certified Management Accountant legacy designation, a graduate of Queen’s University (Bachelor of Arts – Music History) in Kingston Ontario and attended the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education program at the University of Toronto. He provides governance and strategic planning training and support to not-for-profits in the lower mainland as a Knowledge Philanthropist for Vantage Point. He has also worked with the business management and operations program at BCIT as a mentor to 2 year students in an individual and group capacity.
Newsha Siouffi, Director| Newsha has seen firsthand the recovery potential of individuals struggling with mental illness when appropriate access to support systems are in place. This life experience drives Newsha’s passion in volunteering with CMHA Vancouver Fraser Branch in support of their significant contributions to the promotion of mental well being. Newsha approaches business challenges from a place of curiosity, she brings to the board strong business acumen in strategic planning, operations, and project management. She has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a Strategic Management concentration from the UBC Sauder School of Business in addition to a Masters Certificate in Project Management from York University’s Schulich School of Business. Currently working as the Operations Manager at Vancity Credit Union, Newsha has over 10 years of experience in the finance sector. Earning a Psychology Degree from Simon Fraser University has deepened her understanding of the core complexities of mental illness and the multi-pronged approach required to achieve recovery. As a new parent, Newsha is relishing learning something new about her son every day and watching his rapid development.
Sarah Zurbuchen, President | Sarah is a true advocate of mental health as she has personally experienced mental health challenges with almost every member of her immediate family. For 14 years she has specialized in fundraising, special-event planning, marketing and communications. She was responsible for managing over $40 million in annual fundraising for two charities: the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Avon Foundation for Women. Sarah resides in North Vancouver with her husband and two-year old son. Sarah has been in the top 5 overall fundraisers for CMHA’s annual Ride Don’t Hide event for the last two years.